North Arm Cove website stands as model for regional communities

The North Arm Cove community website has all the information that locals would need to stay informed on Cove happenings.

RECENT upgrades to the North Arm Cove (NAC) website have underscored the site’s status as a model of what regional communities can do online today.

While many regional towns do not even have a website, leaving locals to rely on sporadic and unfiltered social media, the residents of NAC have, on their own, built up an impressively professional-looking site, using software that is available free to anyone.

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“The website was created over ten years ago, based on the ‘Drupal’ content management system, the same used by big corporations and government departments,” North Arm Cove Community Association Inc (NACCAi) President Bob Reid told NOTA.

“It is open-source too, so no cost to use, and customisable with the right tools.”

NAC resident Doug Kohlhoff set up the site after coming to the Cove in 2010, bringing his IT background, but said his hands-on experience dated back to the 1990s, when the internet was still ‘new’.

“I proposed the site back in late 2010 because at that stage we had a monthly printed newsletter, but felt there was a need for the community to have a website,” Mr Kohlhoff, who shares a healthy scepticism of social media, explained his forward-thinking.

“There was a learning curve for some of the tools to develop the website, but a person with a reasonable level of computer literacy can keep it up to date.

“My view is that communication is the glue that keeps the community together.”

Developed by the community, for the community, Mr Reid describes the website as the “key information source in the Cove now”.

The site hosts practically everything, from fire warning links to bin collection reminders, and users must adhere to a fair and clear Code of Conduct.

Registered NAC residents can comment directly onto the website, which also has a place for recent and upcoming events, community centre groups and activities, a free community noticeboard, and sponsored links that help with the running costs of the site itself.

“Everyone who registers gets an email each week telling the latest on the website via a newsletter email going out early Saturday mornings.”

There is twelve years of historical content in there, too, including ‘Recurring Topics’ and ‘Reference Documents’ that Mr Reid and the NACCAi have carefully curated.

The North Arm Cove website can be accessed at

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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